Mission: To advance the intellectual, social, and artistic development of underserved public school students and close the achievement gap through arts-integrated education programs.
About the Organization: UAP was founded as Working Playground, a youth- and issues-focused theater company, in New York City in 1991 after three days of rioting rocked the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. A quarter-century later, the organization continues to believe that creativity is the key to engaging and inspiring young people. To that end, it provides a variety of programming — including cutting-edge visual arts and digital media programs, literacy programs, expanded learning opportunities, professional development opportunities for teachers of kids with special needs, and peer-mentoring programs — to underserved public school students in New York City and Los Angeles.
Current Programs: The organization's Academy offers advanced arts programs, leadership development training, and college and career resources to help high school students become agents of change in their communities, while its Fresh Ed program is designed to enhance teaching and learning through culturally responsive pedagogy and song-writing. The Fresh Prep uses hip-hop to help students who have failed the New York State Regents Exam re-take and pass it. Other UAP programs include Everyday Arts for Special Education, a series of professional development workshops for educators aimed at helping them connect with students with autism, emotional disabilities, or other types of disabilities; Story Studio, which uses the power of visual arts and storytelling to advance literacy development for English Language Learners; and Adobe Youth Voices, which helps students develop media literacy skills they can use to speak out about issues affecting their lives.
Website: Visitors to the Urban Arts Partnership website can read about the impact of the organization's programs on students' standardized test scores, English language proficiency, graduation rates, and motivation; browse profiles of students and educators; and/or find a participating school. They can also check out the organization's blog for updates on current projects, opportunities, and arts integration-related perspectives on current events; sign up for the organization's mailing list; contribute an image, video or message with the #ArtMakesMe community; and/or make a donation.
Funding: The Urban Arts Partnership is funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals.